Science for the Summer 2022

Science for the Summer 2022

Author: ChemistryViews

Summer is the perfect time to have some fun with science-related books and podcasts. ChemistryViews has collected recommendations from editors.

You can add your own recommendations in the comments section below.




How to Invent Everything: A Survival Guide for the Stranded Time Traveler
by Ryan North

This book serves as a handbook for getting a new civilization going from scratch and inventing all the modern conveniences we take for granted.

(suggested by Greta Heydenrych, Batteries & Supercaps and ChemSystemsChem)


Am I Normal?: The 200-Year Search for Normal People (and Why They Don’t Exist)
by Sarah Chaney

This book tells the history of how the very notion of the “normal” came about and how it shaped us all.

(suggested by Matteo Cavalleri, Publisher)


The Rules of Contagion: Why Things Spread—And Why They Stop
by Adam Kucharski

This book explains how virality works, exploring topics such as gun violence, online manipulation, and disease outbreaks.

(suggested by Vera Koester, ChemistryViews)


Real Life
by Brandon Taylor

This novel is centered around the experiences of a Black, queer biochemistry Ph.D. student trying to navigate through life facing structural racism, the pressure of pursuing a Ph.D., and being a young adult.

(suggested by Axel Straube, ChemistryOpen and Chemistry—Methods)


Inheritors of the Earth: How Nature Is Thriving in an Age of Extinction
by Chris D. Thomas

This book shows how human cities and mass agriculture have created new places for enterprising animals and plants to live.

(suggested by Greta Heydenrych, Batteries & Supercaps and ChemSystemsChem)


Quantum Steampunk: The Physics of Yesterday’s Tomorrow
by Nicole Yunger Halpern

This book explains how quantum physics is transforming our understanding of information and energy.

(suggested by Matteo Cavalleri, Publisher)


Finding the Mother Tree
by Suzanne Simard

This book recounts the decades-long scientific journey of the author, a forest ecologist. In her quest to understand why managed forests were suffering, Simard discovered that trees are connected, communicate with one another, and support each other in times of hardship.

(suggested by Kim Meyer, Angewandte Chemie)


Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men
by Caroline Criado Perez

This book examines how data often treats men as the default and women as atypical, perpetuating bias and gender inequality.

(suggested by Catharina Goedecke, ChemistryViews)


Dark and Magical Places: The Neuroscience of How We Navigate
by Christopher Kemp

This book explains what happens in our brains as we navigate.

(suggested by Greta Heydenrych, Batteries & Supercaps and ChemSystemsChem


The Disordered Cosmos: A Journey into Dark Matter, Spacetime, and Dreams Deferred
by Chanda Prescod-Weinstein

This book is a journey into particle physics and the cosmos—and a call for a world that allows everyone to experience and understand the wonders of the universe.

(suggested by Matteo Cavalleri, Publisher)


by Weike Wang

This novel is about the life of a young, female, Chinese-American chemistry Ph.D. student whose life plan veers off course.

(suggested by Charlotte Gers-Panther, ChemCatChem)





The Curious Cases of Rutherford & Fry
by BBC

This podcast investigates everyday mysteries submitted by listeners.

(suggested by Susanne Poth, ChemCatChem and ChemistrySelect)


Great Leap Years
by Stephen Fry

This podcast explores the stories behind great inventions and how our lives have been transformed by them.

(suggested by Rachel Schmidt-Radde, Angewandte Chemie)


The Infinite Monkey Cage
by BBC

In this podcast, Brian Cox and Robin Ince look at the world through scientists’ eyes.

(suggested by Susanne Poth, ChemCatChem and ChemistrySelect)

Also of Interest



  1. Eva E. Wille

    This summer in various German book charts: Bonnie Garmus’ Eine Frage der Chemie (translation of Lessons in Chemistry by Ulrike Wasel and Klaus Timmermann), ranking among the top three for several weeks


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